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Us 16, Washington 14, Mcconnell 5, Harry Potter 4, New York 4, Chuck Todd 3, Potter 3, Bba 3, Graham 2, Tom Kierein 2, David Gregory 2, Tracee Wilkins 2, Johnny Scruggs 2, Jim Vance 2, Kelly O'donnell 2, Boehner 2, Obama 2, Chuck 2, America 2, Jake 1,
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  WRC    News 4 Midday    News  News/Business. New. (CC)  

    July 15, 2011
    11:00 - 12:00pm EDT  

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effectively, a tax increase on everybody. because suddenly whether you're using your credit card or you're trying to get a loan for a car or a student loan, businesses that are trying to make payroll, all of them could end up being impacted as a consequence of a default. now, what is important is that even as we raise the debt ceiling, we also solve the problem of underlying debt and deficits. you know, i'm glad that congressional leaders don't want to default, but i think the american people expect more than that. they expect that we actually try to solve this problem. we get our fiscal house in order. so, during the course of these discussions with congressional leaders, what i've tried to emphasize is we have a unique opportunity to do something big. we have a chance to stabilize america's finances for a decade
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or 15 years or 20 years. fw we' if we're willing to seize the moment. what that would require is some shared acura fisacrifice and a approach that says we are going to make cuts in domestic spending. i have already said that i'm willing to take domestic spending down to the lowest percentage of our overall economy since dwight eisenhower. it also requires cuts in defense spending. and i've said that in addition to the $400 billion that we already cut from defense spending, we're willing to look for hundreds of billions more. it would require us taking on health care spending, that includes looking at medicare and finding ways that we can stabilize the system so that it is available not just for this generation, but future generations. and it would require revenues. it would require, even as we're asking the person who needs a
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student own loloan or the senio citizen or people, veterans who are trying to get by on the disability check, even as we're trying to make sure that all those programs are affordable, we're also saying to folks like myself that can afford it that we are able and willing to do a little bit more. that millionaires and billionaires can afford to do a little bit more. that we can close corporate loopholes. so that oil companies aren't getting unnecessary tax breaks. or that corporate jet owners aren't getting unnecessary tax breaks. if we take that approach, then i am confident that we can not only impress the finance markets, but, more importantly, we can impress the american people that this town can actually get something done once in a while.
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now, let me acknowledge what everybody understands. it is hard to do a big package. my republican friends have said that they're not willing to do revenues and they have repeated that on several occasions. my hope, though, is that they're listening not just to lobbyists or special interests here in washington, but they're also listening to the american people because it turns out poll after poll many dup by your organizations show that it's not just democrats who think we need to take a balanced approach, it's republicans, as well. the clear majority of republican voters think that any deficit reduction package should have a balanced approach and should include some revenues. that's not just democrats. that's the majority of republicans. you've got a whole slew of republican officials from previous administrations. you've got a bipartisan
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commission that has said that we need revenues. so, this is not just a democratic understanding, this is an understanding that i think the american people hold that we should not be asking sacrifices from middle class folks who are working hard every day from the most vulnerable in our society. we should not be asking them to make sacrifices. we are not asking the most fortunate in our society to make sacrifices, as well. so, i am still pushing for us to achieve a big deal. but what i also said to the group is if we can't do the biggest deal possible, then let's still be ambitious. let's still try to at least get a down payment on deficit reduction. and that we can actually accomplish without huge changes in revenue or significant changes in entitlements. but we could still send a signal that we are serious about this
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problem. the fall back position, the third option, and i think the least attractive option, is one in which we raise the debt ceiling, but we don't make any progress in deficit and debt. because if we take that approach, this issue is going to continue to plague us for months and years to come. and i think it's important for the american people that everybody in this town set politics aside, that everybody in this town sets our individual interests aside and we try to do some tough stuff. and i have already taken some heat from my party for being willing to compromise. my expectation and hope is that everybody in the coming days is going to be willing to compromise. last point i'll make and then i'll take questions. we are, obviously, running out of time. so, what i've said to the members of congress is that you
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need over the next 24 to 36 hours to give me some sense of what your plan is to get the debt ceiling raised through whatever mechanisms they can think about and show me a plan in terms of what you're doing for deficit and debt reduction. if they show me a serious plan, i'm ready to move. even if it requires some tough decisions on my part. i'm hopeful that over the next couple days we'll see this log jam broken because the american people, i think, understand we want to see washington do its job. with that, let me see who's on the list. we'll start with jake tapper. >> thank you, mr. president. you said that reducing the deficit will require shared sacrifice. we know we have an idea of the taxes that you would like to see raised on corporations and on americans in the top two tax brackets. but we don't yet know what you
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are specifically willing to do when it comes to entitlement spending. in the interest of transparency, leadership and also showing the american people that you have been negotiating in good faith, can you tell us one structural reform that you're willing to make to one of these entitlement programs that would have a major impact on the deficit? would you be willing to raise the retirement age? >> we said that we're willing to look at all those approaches. i laid out some criteria in terms of what would be accepted. for example, i said very clearly that we should make sure that current beneficiaries, as much as possible, are not affected. but we should look at what can we do in the years so that over time some of these programs are more sustainable. i've said that means testing on medicare, meaning people like
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myself, you know, i'm going to be turning 50 in a week, so, i'm starting to think a little bit more about medicare eligibility. yeah, i'm going to get my aarp card soon and it discounts. but you know, you can envision a situation where for somebody in my position, me having to pay a little bit more on premiums or co-pays or things like that would be appropriate. again, that could make a difference. so, we've been very clear about where we're willing to go. what we're not willing to do is to restructure the program in the ways that we've seen coming out on the house over the last several months. where we would voucherize the program and you potentially have senior citizens paying $6,000 more.
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i view social security and medicare as the most important social safety nets that we have. i think it is important for them to remain as social insurance programs that give people some certainty and reliability in their golden years. but, it turns out that making some modest modifications in those entitlements can save you trillions of dollars. and it's not necessary to completely revamp the program. what is necessary is to say, how do we make some modifications, including, by the way, on the provider side. i think it's important for us to keep in mind that, you know, drug companies, for example, are still doing very well through the medicare program. and although we have made drugs more available at a cheaper price to seniors who are in medicare through the affordable care act, there's more work to
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potentially be done there. so, if you look at a balanced package even within the entit entitlement programs, it turns out you can save trillions of dollars while maintaining the core integrity of the program. you know, i'm not going to get into specifics. as i said, jake, everything that you mentioned are things that we have discussed. but what i'm not going to do is to ask for even, well, let me put it this way. if you're a senior citizen and a modification potentially costs you $100 or 200 bucks a year more or even if it's not affecting current beneficiaries. somebody who is 40 today, 20 years from now is going to end up having to pay a little bit more. the least i can do is say that people who are making a million dollars or more have to do something, as well. and that's the kind of trade
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off, that's the kind of balanced approach and shared sacrifice that i think most americans agree needs to happen. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. president. i just thought i heard you kind of open up the door to this middle of the road possibility. i think you said show me a serious plan and then i'm prepared to move. just a few minutes before you came here, house republicans said they would vote on this $2.4 trillion package as a balanced budget amendment. is that a plan or is it dead? >> i haven't looked at it yet and my expectation is that you'll probably see the house vote on a couple of things just to make political statements. but if you're trying to get to $2.4 trillion without any revenue, then you are
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effectively gutting a whole bunch of domestic spending that is going to be too burdensome and that is not going to be something that i would support. you know, just to be very specific. we've identified over a trillion dollars in discretionary cuts both in defense and domestic spending. that's hard to do. i mean, that requires, essentially, that you freeze spending. and when i say freeze, that means you're not getting inflation so that these are programmatic cuts that over the course of ten years, you'd be looking at potentially a 10% cut in domestic spending. now, if you then double that number, you're then at that point really taking a big bite out of programs that are really important to ordinary folks. i mean, you're talking then about students accumulating thousands of dollars more in
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student loan debt every year. you're talking about federal workers and veterans and others potentially having to pay more in terms of their health care. so, you know, i have not seen a credible plan having gone through the numbers that would allow you to get to $2.4 trillion without really hurting ordinary folks and the notion that we would be doing that and not asking anything from the wealthiest among us or from closing corporate loopholes. that doesn't seem like a serious plan to me. the notion that, for example, you know, oil company tax breaks. where the oil executives themselves say they probably don't need them. to have an incentive to go out and drill oil and make hundreds of billions of dollars. you know, if we haven't seen the
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other side even budge on that, you know, then i think most democrats would say that's not a serious plan. one last point on the balanced budget. i don't know what version they're going to be presenting. but some of the balanced budget amendments that have been floating up there. this cap or cut cap and balance, for example. when you look at the numbers, what you're looking at is cuts of half a trillion dollars below the ryan budget in any given year. i mean, it would require cutting social security or medicare substantially. and, you know, i think it's important for everybody to understand that all of us believe that we need to get to a point where eventually we can balance the budget. we don't need a constitutional amendment to do that. what we need to do is do our
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jobs and we have to do it the same way a family would do it. if a family gets overextended and their credit card is too high, they just don't stop paying their bills. what they do is they say, how do we start cutting our monthly costs and we keep on making payments and we cut out the things that aren't necessary and we do it in a way that maintains our credit rating. we do it that's responsible. we don't stop sending our kids to college. we don't stop fixing the boiler or the roof that's leaking. we do things in a sensible, responsible way. we can do the same thing when it comes to the federal budget. >> within that $2 trillion band if you go for the middle of the road package, which i think you referred to as the second option, would that need to have stimulative measures either payroll tax extension or the extension of insurance? >> i think both would be good for the economy. a payroll tax cut is something that has put $1,000 in the
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pocket of the typical american family over the last six, seven months. and has helped offset some of the rising costs in gasoline and food. and i think that american consumers and american businesses would benefit from a continuation of that tax cut next year. unemployment insurance. obviously, unemployment is still too high. and, you know, a lot of folks out there who are doing everything they can to find a job. the market is still out there. to make sure they can stay in their homes potentially or they're able to still support their families, i think it's very important and contributes to the overall economy. so, i think there are ways that you can essentially take a little over a trillion dollars in serious discretionary cuts, meaningful discretionary cuts and then start building on top of that some cuts in nonhealth
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care mandatory payments. ethanol programs and, you know, how we calculate various subsuidasubs subsidies to various industries and that could be layered on and we can still do something like a tax cut for ordinary families that would end up benefiting the economy as a whole. that is not my preferable option, though. i think about this like a layer cake. you can do the bare minimum and then you can make some progressively harder decisions to solve the problem more and more and we're in a position now where if we're serious about this and everybody is willing to compromise, we can, as i said before, fix this thing probably for a decade or more. and that's something that i think would be good for overall business climate and would encourage the american people
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that washington is willing to take care of its business. >> the climate bill but not required for your signature, is that what i heard? >> i'm sorry, i lost you on that one. >> you're saying these stimulate was measures would be good for the economy but not included for you to sign $2 trillion or $4 trillion. >> i have to look at an overall package. i don't know what the speaker or mr. mcconnell are willing to do at this point. chuck todd. >> mr. president, this process got kind of ugly in the last week and it appears from the outside that things even got a little futile at these meetings. any regrets on your role on how this went and $4 trillion over ten years and spent the last six months selling that, the balance package to the american people? >> no. first of all, i think this notion that things got ugly is just not true. we've been meeting every single day and we have had very
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constructive conversations. you know, the american people are not interested in reality tv aspects of who said what and did somebody's feelings get hurt. they're interested in solving the budget problem and the deficit and the debt. so, that may be good for chatter in this town. it's not something that folks out in the country are obsessing about. i think with respect to simpson, it was important for us to, it would not have happened i had not set up the structure for it, as you may recall. this is bipartisan legislation that some of the republicans vote against when i said i was for it. that is a pattern that i'm still puzzled by. so, we set it up and they issued a report and what i said was this provides us an important framework to begin discussions.
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but there were aspects of it that i said from very early on, you know, were not the approach i would take. i'll give you an example. on defense spending. a huge amount of their savings on the discretionary side came out of defense spending. i think we need to cut defense. but as commander in chief, i need to make sure we're cutting in it in a way that recognizes that we're still in the middle of a war and we're winding down another war and we've got a whole bunch of veterans we have to care for as they come home. so, what we've said is a lot of the components we're willing to embrace. for example, you know, the domestic spending cuts that they recommend. we basically taken. others like on defense, we have taken some, but not all the recommendations because it's important for it to be consistent with our defense needs and our security needs.
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the bottom line is that this is not an issue of salesmanship to the american people. the american people are sold. the american people are sold. i just want to repeat this. >> it would have been different, you had republican support on it? the republican senators signed -- >> chuck, you have 80% of the american people who support a balanced approach. 80% of the american people support an approach that includes revenues and includes cuts. the notion that the american people are not sold is not the problem. the problem is members of congress are dug in idelogically into various positions because they boxed themselves in with previous statements. and this is not the american people knowing what the right thing is. this is a matter of congress doing the right thing and reflecting the will of the
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american people. if we do that, we will have solved this problem. >> thank you, mr. president. i wanted to ask you about the two trains that seem to be rolling down the tracks on the hill. specifically, leader mcconnell has laid out an elaborate plan to lay out the debt limit. it looks like last night they are going to pair that with a new committee that would be tasked with coming up with the big solution that you talk about coming up with by the end of the year. your comment on that proposal? meanwhile in the house they say we could be flexible on some of our demands and they note that vice president biden voted for a bba in 1997. is there any way that could be part of the solution? is there any version of a bba that you would support? >> first of all, for the consumption of the general public, bba being a balanced budget. we don't need a constitutional
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amendment to do our jobs. the constitution already tells us to do our jobs. and to make sure that the government is living within its means and making responsible choices. and, so, this notion that we're going to go through a multi-year process instead of seizing the moment now and taking care of our problems is a typical washington response. we don't need more studies, we don't need a balanced budget amendment. we simply need to make these tough choices and be willing to take on our basis. and everybody knows it. i mean, we could have a discussion right here about what the numbers look like and we know what's necessary. here's the good news. it turns out we don't have to do anything radical to solve this problem. contrary to what some folks say that we're not greece, we're not portugal.
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it turns out that our problem is we cut taxes without paying for them over the last decade. we ended up instituting new programs like a prescription drug program for seniors that was not paid for. we fought two wars, we didn't pay for them. you know, we had a bad recession that required a recovery act and stimulus spending and helping states and all that accumulate it and there's interest on top of that. and to unwind that, what's required is that we roll back those tax cuts on the wealthiest individuals that we clean up our tax codes so we're not giving out a bunch of tax breaks to companies that don't need them and are not creating jobs. we cut programs that we don't need. and we invest in those things that will help us grow.
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and every commission that's been out there has said the same thing. and basically taken the same approach within the margin of error. so, you know, my general view is that if the american people looked at this, they'd say, boy, some of these decisions are tough. but they don't require us to gut medicare or social security. they don't require us to stop helping young people to go to college. they don't require us to stop helping families who got a disabled child. they don't require us to violate our obligations to our veterans. and they don't require quote/unquote job killing tax cuts. they require us to make some modest adjustments to get our house in order and we should do it now. with respect to senator mcconnell's plan.
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as i said, i think it is constructive to say that if washington operates as usual and can't get anything done let's at least avert armageddon. i'm glad that people are serious about the consequences of denot. but we have two problems here. one is raising the debt ceiling. this is a problem that was manufactured here in washington because every single one of the leaders over there have voted for raising the debt ceiling in the past and it has typically been a difficult, but routine process. and we do have a genuine underlying problem that our debt and deficits are too big. so, senator mcconnell's approach solves the first problem.
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it doesn't solve the second problem. i'd like to solve that second problem. >> are you looking at this option as a more likely outcome at this point or can you share with us why you have some hope that the talks that have been going on might actually produce an answer? >> i always have hope. don't you remember my campaign? even after, even after being here for two and a half years. i continue to have hope. you know why i have hope, is because of the american people. you know, when i talk to them and i meet with them as frustrated as they are about this town, they still reflect good common sense. and all we have to do is align with that common sense on this problem. it can get solved. and i'm assuming that at some point members of congress are going to listen. i just want to repeat every
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republican, i won't say every, a number of republican former elected officials that aren't in office now would say a balanced approach that includes some revenue, is the right thing to do. the majority of republican voters say that approach is the right thing to do. the proposal that i was discu discussing with speaker boehner fell squarely in line with what most republican voters think we should do. so, the question is, at what point do folks over there start listening to the people who put them in office? now's a good time. sam young. >> good morning, mr. president. i'd like something chuck asked about his first question about the tone of the debate. i faintly remember your campaign and why it hasn't been ugly as you say. when you have senator mcconnell making comments that he views
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these negotiations through the prism of 2012, how much does that poison and going forward, if, if you can get a deal on this, can you get anything done with congress for the next year and a half? >> let me say this. and i'm not trying to poke at you guys. i generally don't watch what is said about me on cable. i generally don't read what is said about me, even in "the hill." and, so, you know, part of this job is having a thick skin and understanding a lot of this stuff is not personal. you know, that's not going to be an impediment to whatever senator mcconnell says about me on the floor of the senate is not going to be impediment to us getting a deal done. you know, the question is going to be whether at any given moment we're willing to set politics aside, at least briefly, in order to get something done.
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i don't expect politicians not to think about politics. but every so often there are issues that are urgent that have to be attended to and require us to do things we don't like to do. that run contrary to our base. they get some constituency that helped elect us agitated because they're looking at it from a narrow prism. we're supposed to step back and look at it for what's good for the country. and if we are able to remind ourselves of that, then there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to get things done. look, what we've been obsessing over the last couple weeks about raising the debt ceiling and reducing the debt and deficit. i tell you what the american people are obsessing about right now. that unemployment is still way too high and too many folks homes are still under water.
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and prices of things that they need, not just that they want, are going up. a lot faster than their paychecks are if they have a job. so, even after we solve this problem, we still got a lot of work to do. we should renew the payroll tax for another year. make sure unemployment insurance is there for another year. you were making the point if that issue could be wrapped into this deal. my point is that those a whole other set of issues that we need to be talking on and working on. i have an infrastructure bank, bill, that would start putting construction workers back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges. we should be cooperating on that. most of the things that i've proposed to help spur on additional job growth are traditionally bipartisan.
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i've got three trade deals sitting, ready to go. these are all trade deals that the republicans told me were their top priorities. they said this would be one of the best job creators that we could have. yet, it's still being held up because some folks don't want to provide trade adjust assistance to people who are displaced as a consequence of trade. surely we can come up with a compromise to solve those problems. so, huge differences between now and november 2012 between the parties and whoever the republican nominee is, you know, we're going to have a big, serious debate about what we believe is the right way to guide america forward and to win the future. and i'm confident that i will win that debate because i think that we've got, we've got the better approach.
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but in the meantime, surely, we can every once in a while sit down and actually do something that helps american people right here and right now. >> in the meantime, sir, that i'm curious about. as you just said, raising the debt ceiling is fairly routine, but economic armageddon, as you said. if you can get past this one, how can you get any agreement with congress on those big issues you talked about? >> you know, i am going to keep on working and i'm going to keep on trying and what i'm going to do is to hope that, in this deb american people's attention a little bit more and will subject congress to scrutiny and i think increasingly the american people are going to say to themselves, you know what, if a party or a politician is constantly taking the position my way or the highway, constantly being locked in to, you know, idelogically
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rigid positions that we're going to remember at the polls. it's kind of cumulative. the american people aren't paying attention to the details of every as peck of this negotiation. what they are paying attention to is who seems to be trying to get something done? who seems to be posturing and just trying to score political points? i think it will be in the interest of everybody who wants to continue to serve in this town to make sure that they are on the right side of that impression. and that's, by the way, what i said in the meeting two days ago. i was very blunt. i said the american people do not want to see a bunch of posturing. they don't want to hear a bunch of sound bites. what they want is for us to solve problems. and we all have to remember that. that's why we were sent here.
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last question, scott? >> thank you, mr. president. i wondered if you've seen any sign that republicans are being more aligned with that american majority or if we are in the same place today that we were on mond monday. >> it's probably better for you to ask them. i do think that, i've said this before, speaker boehner in good faith was trying to see if it was possible to get a big deal done. he had some problems in his caucus. my hope is that after some reflection, after we walk through all the numbers this week and we look at all the options that there may be some movement, some possibility, some interest to still get something more than the bare minimum done. but we're running out of time. that's the main concern we have at this point.
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we have enough time to do a big deal. you know, i've got reams of paper and printouts and spreadsheets on my desk and, so, we know how we can create a package that solves the deficit and debt for a significant period of time. but in order to do that, we have to get started now. that's why i'm expecting some answers from all the congressional leaders. some time in the next couple of days. i have to say, you know, this is tough on the democratic side, too. i mean, some of the things that i've talked about and said i would be willing to see happen, there are some democrats who think that's absolutely unacceptable. and, so, that's where i have a selling job, chuck, is trying to sell some of our party that if you are a progressive, you should be concerned about debt and deficit just as much as if you're a conservative.
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and the reason is because if the only thing we're talking about over the next year two years, five years are debt and deficits, then it's very hard to start talking about how do we make investments in community colleges so that our kids are trained. how do we actually rebuild $2 trillion worth of crumbling inf infrastructure. you know, if you care about making investments in our kids and making investments in our insti instructure you should want our house in order so every time we propose a new initiative, somebody doesn't throw up their hands and say more big spending, more big government. you know, it would be very helpful for us to be able to say to the american people, our fiscal house is in order. so, now the question is, what should we be doing to win the future and make ourselves more
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competitive and create more jobs and what aspects of what government's doing is a waste and we should eliminate. and that's the kind of debate that i'd like to have. all right, thank you, guys. >> the third such gathering in two weeks and chuck todd, who got the last reference there and had quite an exchange with president obama is back up and standing in the front row. chuck, how do we just move the ball down the field, if at all? >> the president indicated he would support whatever congress produces. and whatever and he didn't get quite specific talking about the mcconnell option which, of course, is this sort of fail safe that puts the burden on himself. but he was clearly eluding to it. right now that's what democratic senator, harry reid, the majority leader mitch mcconnell and even jon kyl working with house republicans they're negotiating a way to get this
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through. one way, we're going to raise the debt ceiling. that we know and the rest of this press conference was a little bit about what is it going to look like? how many cuts are going to be involved? how much is the deficit going to get reduced and then a little bit looking back and friday morning quarterbacking. what could have worked and what didn't work. >> chuck todd in the briefing room, well done. over to david gregory across town. david, of course, the unspoken thing in washington. spoken by some, there is this block of republicans in the house that wants none of it and the republican leadership is having a tough time. >> yeah, i think that limits the scope of what's possible here. my reading of what the president is saying is i can take something that we've already agreed to in principaprincipal. we will have that fight in 2012. a lot of 2012 talk in that,
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brian. what republicans were not willing to do and how they were not willing to lead and where he was. that will be his position and i think we may have seen a cap here in how much spending cuts are possible. >> over to the hill we go, kelly o'donnell. so much talk about washington ease and washington langage al. david gregory just used revenue. that a tough nut for a lot of folks in this. >> they try to soften it by calling it revenue, which seems a bit more benign. one thing republicans on the hill are trying to give attention to. the crisis is not just the default deadline, but the bigger issue of trying to solve a long-term problem. and they're trying to say that the experts, including secretary geithner, are focused on that, too. trying to shift attention a bit off august 2nd because everybody here tells us the country will not default. privately we hear that again and again. certainly progressives will have noticed that the president did
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hint that he would be open to means testing. if you make more, you would pay more for something like medicare. that will get a lot of attention, as well, brian. >> kelly o'donnell on the hill. david gregory at our nbc washington bureau and chuck todd leading the questioning there in for "nightly news," i'm brian williams, nbc, new york. good morning, everyone, and welcome to "news 4 midday." i'm barbara harrison. it's friday, july 15th, 2011. and you've been watching an nbc special report. president obama said he's encouraged that all sides in the spending debate recognized the need to address the debt limit quickly. congressional leaders from both parties met for a fifth day yesterday at the white house. both sides emerged with a plan that would give the president more authority to raise the debt ceiling. procedures would also be put in place that could lead to spending cuts. in an exclusive interview,
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president obama told news 4's jim vance that he's confident the country will get through this crisis. >> we've been through tougher times before. and we've always come out on the other end of this thing. what's required here in washington is that politicians understand, now's not the time to play games. now's not the time to posture. now's the time to do what's right by the country. look, i want to live in a country that is going on all cylinders, that's giving everybody opportunity, that is continuing to promote the american dream to all who are willing to work hard and be responsible. and i want that country for my children and my grandchildren. >> it's not clear when the details of this potential deal will be unveiled. no debt talks are scheduled, however, for today. and you can see jim vance's entire interview with president obama on our website, nbcwashington.com. you'll see a link right there on the home page. and new today, the maternity
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ward is back open at holy cross hospital in silver spring after a fire overnight. montgomery county firefighters say a heat in the air-conditioning unit sparked the fire on the third floor. hospital officials say smoke from that fire spread through the building's exhaust system. staff temporarily moved 12 patients to other areas of the hospital as a precaution. we're told medical procedures went on without problems and no patients were ever in danger. crews are now cleaning up water damage there. and crews have finally cleared a utility pole that fell along a prince george's county street. you can see these images from chopper 4 of a car crashed beneath the police on church road and old stage road in bowie. there's no word on any injuries at this point. and we're going to check in with tom kierein now for the latest on our forecast. tom, good weekend coming? >> yeah, we've had this wonderful weather pattern that came in yesterday with the low humidity, and it is still in place here on this friday. we've had some more clouds
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around. there's a live picture from the city camera. there's the jefferson memorial, under a mostly cloudy sky now in washington. but later today, we'll get some of that sunshine back. right now reagan national is at 76 degrees and we have the dew point at 60. so that's not too bad. we've got a wind out of the south-southwest at around 7 miles an hour or so. and temhe tperatures around the region are into the 70s, all the way from the mountains to the atlantic beaches. and we will have this cloud cover in out and, but no precipitation showing up on radar right now. we've had these clouds cruising in from the north and west, and they'll be with us from time to time through the afternoon. and we will have our temperatures reaching the mid-80s by midafternoon. and we'll have some of that sunshine back. and then for this evening, here's your night planner. we'll be in the 70s through the evening and during the day tomorrow, we'll have sunshine, temperatures into the mid-80s, still not too humid. a little more humid on sunday and a little hotter. then sweltering humidity does move in on monday and through the rest of next week. highs in the 90s each day.
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might get some storms tuesday and wednesday. that's how it looks right now. barbara? >> all right. thank you, tom. the wizarding world of harry potter will never be the same. "harry potter and the deathly hallows: part 2" opened at midnight and bewitched washington. news 4's tracee wilkins reports from the uptown theater in northwest washington. >> reporter: muggles have been lining up all morning long to see "harry potter," and just like the sign sends, it's the end of an era. it may be the very last time they wear their hogwarts uniforms ever. >> it's kind of sad. i remember the first book came out when i was in fourth grade. >> we had perfect seats. it was awesome. >> it was great. >> reporter: i've got to tell you, you kind of favor hermione. i think you do a little bit. maybe it's the scarf. >> reporter: for more than a decade, young harry potter's battles and triumphs as he journeys through wizarding school has captured a
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generation. and today, they came to say farewell. sometimes, more than once. so why the 3:00 a.m. showing and not the midnight showing. what happened with that? >> we got both. >> reporter: you went to both?! did it get better the second time? >> yes! oh, my gosh, yes. >> reporter: promise, we won't spoil the movie. don't tell me! that's so cool. but we will say this this last potter adventure is described as a classic action film and considered the darkest in the series. i hear that it's very dark. is there any light, is there any moment of happiness? do you have to wait until the end? >> pretty much to the end, yeah. >> reporter: do you with read the books or just see the films? >> well, she read the books, i saw the films. >> reporter: for all your potter book lovers, word is this movie is a little different in places. did you read the books and see the movies? >> yes. >> reporter: so what do you think? better than the book? >> i read the book a long time ago. it's a little different, but they were both very good. >> reporter: have you seen them
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all? >> i've seen every single one. >> reporter: so was this the best yet? >> i'll have to go with the first one. >> reporter: i agree. even though i haven't seen this one, i think it's best when they're first coming to school and they're young and it's light, before it gets really dark. >> i have to agree also, and i've been a fan of the series my whole life, and the first one really inspired me, really got me into reading all the books. >> reporter: not only is it the end of an era, but it's the ending of some big-time movie sales. the harry potter series has grossed $6.37 billion since it began. it is the most successful movie franchise in movie history. in northwest, i'm tracee wilkins, news 4. 11:47 is the time. and still ahead on "news 4 midday," the secret to a perfect cheesecake. cheesecake. empty nest, new kitchen, new us? who are we? chic, modern, daring dinner-party hosts. that sounds dangerous, maybe we're more the tradiotional sunday brunch set? i'll expect slippers and a cocktail to be ready when i get home from work.
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point taken. how about... peaceful, quiet cottage in the country folk? now that's us. save up to 20% on every kitchen style, now until august 21st at ikea, the life improvement store.
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there are a lot of firefighters who cook, but few who get the kind of praise our next guest gets. johnny scruggs is a firefighter in prince george's county, and he is as well known for his cheesecake as he is for saving lives. johnny joining us this morning with some secrets to his cheesecakes and welcome. >> thank you for having me. >> thanks for coming me. you're all set to show us how to do it. but before we start, i want to ask you a little bit about your history. now, you actually come from new
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york and you're known for your new york cheesecake. is that right? >> i grew up in new jersey, but spent a lot of time in new york. and i fell in love with new york-style cheesecakes at an early age. >> and he was just telling me that when he was in college, he decided he was going to perfect his recipe, so he tried all kinds of recipes and came up with his own, which is a little bit of this and a little bit of that. >> assist basic recipe that -- but i've just tweaked it here and there so i can call it my own. >> now, he told me that he's not going to tell me exactly what he does, but he is going to make it right in front of us. so if you watch carefully, you're going to be able to figure out how to do it, maybe. now, when he's got in here, why don't you show it? this is his softened cream cheese, just philadelphia cream cheese. >> yes. >> that looks to me like about four packages. but i'm not too sure. >> close. >> so what do we do next? >> at this point we're going to add some eggs. >> how many? >> a number of eggs. >> all right. he says that this is a basic cheesecake recipe, but we're
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going to watch the way he does it. he tells me what he does is he puts some love in here and it's all about presentation at the end. so you put the egg in and then what? >> you stir it around. one thing you need the to notice, it's not a mixer or a blender, it is a whisk. >> you use a whisk the whole time? >> the whole time. >> never with a blender. what comes next? >> we're going to add some sugar. >> okay. and what i'm looking at are actually the proportions for making a small cheesecake. >> the smaller size, that is correct. >> okay. everybody, keep your eye on this. but, again, he said that this is a basic cheesecake recipe. all right, you whisk that together. and let's move along, what's next after that? >> and we have some flavor, vanilla flavor. >> okay, that. now, he was telling me, and as he makes this, i will recall this story he just shared with me. he was just saving a life the other day and the person who was suffering chest pains looked at him and said, you're the guy who cooks cheesecakes, because "the washington post" just did a story. >> that's true, just the other day.
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>> now you're better known for your cheesecakes than your life saving. okay, we're running out of time, so let's move it along. >> and then we're going to add the sour cream. >> sour cream, okay. that is part of the basic recipe. okay. now, once it's all stirred up, show us the size of the cheesecake you're going to make. >> this is a small version. >> and in here, he has what looks like a graham cracker crust. >> that's right. >> made with butter and graham crackers, and a little bit on the sides. and then you fill this up -- and i'm not going to ask you to fill it up, you want to go ahead and do that. >> he pours it in. whoo! and it fills up just to the top of the graham cracker crust o s the sides. >> and you bake it? >> for about an hour. >> and with a cheesecake, i've
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noticed that sometimes you don't know when to take it out, because it stays soft in the middle. should it crack before you take it out? >> no, it shouldn't, and that's part of -- that's a as a result of cooling too quickly. >> i've got to show your beautiful finished products that come out after an hour in the oven. oh, my god, they're so beautiful. he just told me that the main thing is the presentation. this is absolutely gorgeous. it has got cherries and strawberries and blackberries and this chocolate one too. all right, you are the famous johnny scruggs, who saves lives, but everybody wants to be on your shift so they can eat your cheesecake. >> that is correct. >> well, thank you for coming. >> thank you for having me. >> i look forward to cutting these up. >> okay. >> i challenge everybody to try to do this from what we saw. he will not give me his secret recipe. our time now, 11:54. coming up, meteorologist tom
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time for a final check on our forecast. tom kierein joins us and he's hungry for cheesecake! >> oh, yeah, great weather for that. it's a beautiful day underway. another gorgeous summer day here. we'll take this break from high heat and high humidity. there's the sky over washington. now, quite a bit of cloudiness around the region. temperatures are in the 70s to near 80 degrees. and by later this afternoon, we will peak right perhaps into the mid-80s. the radar not picking up any
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precipitation now. and then over the weekend, highs into the 80s again. still not too humid. we'll have sunshine with morning lows in the 60s and hot and humid as we get into next week. make some storms tuesday and wednesday. that's the way it looks right now. >> all right, tom. thank you, and have a great weekend. that's "news 4 midday." thank you for joining us. be sure to tune in at 5:00, 6:00, and tonight at 11:00. until then, monday, have a great day and a great weekend and we'll see you next week.
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